“Heaven in the tranquil Eden Valley - luxury Victorian castle B&B in remote Cumbria”
Augill Castle’s rooms range from romantic doubles to self-contained cottages, converted from the old gatehouse and stables. Wherever you stay, expect thick swathes of curtain, old armoires, four-posters dressed in crisp linen, vintage luggage and the odd wall hanging. Don’t expect lots of chintz. Instead, you might find an Indonesian blow pipe, an old gramophone player or a wardrobe in a turret.
Those in the main castle are the most traditional: we stayed in Appleby, a large room with rich red walls at the end of the long corridor. It has creaky wooden steps down to a big bathroom with a four-poster tub (!) and a brilliant rainshower. We also loved the claw-foot tub in Derwent & Raisebeck
The old Orangery rooms offer huge arched windows; Greystoke’s pretty doorway is enchanting.
The converted outhouses are more modern, and have added privacy. We felt the Little Castle Estate House and The Stable House Estate House would be particularly great for families - you get your own front door, a little front garden and a simple galley kitchen.
Bathrooms sparkle and little extras include homemade biscuits, a decanter of ginger wine and a miniature bottle of whiskey from the Lakes Distillery. Wonderful.
The dining room at Augill is one of the highlights, an enormous, Baronial chamber with a plaster ribbed ceiling in blue and gold. Guests can choose to sit at the large communal oak dining table or at a private table in the Conservatory or Drawing Room.
Inspired by ingredients sourced locally to the castle, an evening ‘Four Counties’ house menu is served daily. We sampled mains including a delightfully spicy sweet potato, Yorkshire feta and pine nut parcel, and a tender beef slow cooked in ale with mash, asparagus and green beans. Heaven knows how we made space for the decadent melting chocolate pudding with clotted cream.
Afterwards, we relaxed at the castle’s Great British Bar (in the Conservatory), which only stocks drinks from independent British producers. Simon and Wendy will happily recommend something for you based on your tastes - maybe a cocktail or two. We enjoyed a delicious Lemon Bon Bon made with toffee vodka.
In the morning, our breakfast took a good hour to devour: fruit and porridge, freshly-squeezed orange juice, homemade breads and croissants, Cumberland bacon, Augill Eggs Florentine and Cumbrian Rarebit.
Augill Castle extends a warm welcome to younger guests with a friendly teddy bear on their bed on arrival, and a library filled with books, toys and a bulging dressing up box. And what could be more exciting for any child than staying in a real castle?!
Your're also well placed for outdoorsy activities in the Lake District, whether that's learning to sail like Swallows and Amazons or trying out the newer attractions like the Via Ferrata at Honister Slate Mine.
So many options. The Orangery Family Suite sleeps up to 4; The Stable House Estate House and Little Castle Estate House offer more privacy and separate bedrooms for parents and kids. Interconnecting Derwent & Raisebeck are good option for families with older children. Book the whole place out for a big family gathering!
Baby monitor available.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Very flexible when it comes to eating - the 'Four Counties' menu includes children's dishes, afternoon tea and crowd-pleasing suppers. At breakfast, the delicious banana and chocolate chip muffins were a big hit with our baby son. Plastic bowls, plates, cups and toddler cutlery are provided when you order something for your child.
There is also a small galley kitchen in the main building with a fridge, microwave, kettle and 2 hobs. This was brilliant for us as we could store and heat up milk for bedtime and it would be perfect making very very simple snacks - handy if you have early risers who can't wait until breakfast.
Plenty of antiques to mind and staircases that aren't gated; this is a unique old house and hasn't been 'health and safety'd' to death, perish the thought.